Reading will look to make it three consecutive victories for the first time since March against Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough on Saturday at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

A seven point week, with wins over Fulham and Peterborough United following a draw with QPR, lifted the side to mid-table as the side look to put some breathing room between themselves and the drop zone.

These points could be crucial in the long run following the news of a potential nine point deduction for breaking Profit and Sustainability rules, which would see the club drop the 23rd.

The visitors sit just one point, and two places, below the Royals in 15th.

Last time out they surrendered a lead to lose 1-2 against newly promoted Blackpool.

They are looking to make it back-to-back away wins, after a 0-2 win over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the last time the Smoggies were on their travels.

Team News

Veljko Paunovic’s injury woes continued on Saturday, with both central defenders Tom Holmes and Michael Morrison picking up knocks which are set to keep them out for multiple matches.

This leaves the club with no fit centre-back’s after Tom McIntyre, Liam Moore and Scott Dann were already unavailable.

Paunovic said Dann would feature 'when he is fit enough to start' to the media on Thursday.

Midfielder Josh Laurent covered very well in defence at Craven Cottage and could be asked to take up the role again, alongside Under-23s captain Michael Strickland who could make his league debut after being unused on the bench in West London.

If Laurent was to move into a deeper role, Chelsea loanee Danny Drinkwater would be in line for his first start in a Reading shirt after playing over an hour last time out from the bench.

Fellow midfield general Andy Rinomhota has returned to training after his injury, but the former Player of the Season is still being monitored.

In more positive news, goalkeeper Rafael has recovered from a hand injury and can be selected, however after two straight wins Luke Southwood will feel hard done by if he is not played again.

For the Boro, defender Marc Bola and midfielders Paddy McNair and Marcus Browne are suspected to be out injured.

Head to Head

Reading are currently on a six-year winless spell against the Teesiderslast winning in October 2015.

Eight defeats and a draw in the last nine encounters makes for grim reading, as does a run of four straight home losses against the 2006 UEFA Cup finalists.

Overall the away side are comfortably winning the head-to-head, with 17 wins to Reading’s nine since 1927.


According to Sky Bet the hosts are 15/8 to make it nine points from nine in the lunchtime kick-off, with a Warnock win 6/4 and 9/4 for the honours to end even.